How to travel with a baby

M and I

Looking back at our piece of paradise

Looking back at our piece of paradise

Hubby and M

Hubby and M

Private beach, and private outdoor shower

Private beach, and private outdoor shower

 

When a dear friend of mine announced she was getting married in Rarotonga we immediately agreed to go – baby in tow – and this is the story of how we survived the 3-4 hour flight there and back again.

Before I start, I just have to say that travelling anywhere by flight with a child is stressful. It’s stressful for your child, stressful for your fellow passengers, stressful for you as a parent, stressful for the flight crew, BUT, if you have the chance to travel I think you should take it.
Travel isn’t a given. It isn’t something that everyone is lucky to experience, and I reminded myself of this often when things got a little tough. Continue reading

You are what you think…

I will never forget her… The nurse who scrunched up her nose, rolled her eyes and told me it was “not ideal to cuddle your baby, or look them in the eye when they wake at night”.  It really hurt that to her, my instincts were wrong, and as a new mum I believed her. I believed her words over my own inner voice. I believed that she was right and I was wrong and OMG I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT TO DO AND THIS IS JUST GOING TO GET HARDER AND HARDER AND I JUST KNOW MY KID WILL NEVER EVER SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT, OR BE EASY TO RAISE.  Continue reading

Sleep… Glorious sleep

Sleep is my god.

 

I worship it, I reach out for it and I feel confused and lost when, despite praying to the sleep gods, I can’t achieve it. Now I try to live by all the sleep “rules” in the hope that it’ll be my time. That I’ll go to sleep heaven.

Continue reading

Fixations

The things you fixate on can be really dumb sometimes…

My darling girl just turned one so I’m weaning myself off pumping.  When I went back to work she got really sick with an ear infection and then refused the boob. It was hard because I wasn’t ready but also because I had this predetermined idea that I’d breastfeed until she was a year old. I don’t really know where I got it from or why I decided it was a particular goal, but it is what it is.

I think it might be an accomplishment thing… Like, I don’t even want to lie that I feel quite proud that she got the liquid gold for as long as I could provide it.

Anyway, all this got me thinking about the things you fixate on!
They could be big, and usually the big things are the important things, or small silly things like:

– If your baby suddenly changes their poop schedule

– If they don’t drink their allocated 200ml bottle because the formula tin says they should

– If they don’t eat as much solid food as the Plunket chart says they should

– If your baby doesn’t sleep as much as that stupid book/magazine article/blog said they shoud

– If your baby gets nappy rash and that zinc cream everyone swears by doesn’t work right away

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that we can obsess about the little things to the point that we lose sight of the important things.
Like how my baby was happy (reflux episodes exempt), loved, cared for, warm, fed, and cuddled at all times. I know it’s really hard to get your head out of the day-to-day in order to think about the big picture but once I started to do it, I found it really helped my overall experience as a new mother.

So to my fellow māmā’s, try to focus on the little things that bring joy rather than the ones that can drive you crazy.  Like that new baby smell, their first smile, their head resting on your shoulder, that little sigh of relief they do when you pick them up out of their cot when they’re crying. You’re doing an amazing job by worrying about those fixations, but they do no service to yourself if that is the only thing you focus on.

 

What were your fixations?

My sleep training experience


**Note: this is an account of my experience with helping my baby to find her sleep.  I believe that the “training” part of sleep training actually applies to parents.  I trained myself to learn my baby and what worked for her, to parent her when she needed it and give her space when she needed that too.  Our experience is what worked for us and what we were comfortable with, as parents.  I absolutely encourage mothers to listen to their own instincts and decide for themselves before they try any sleep techniques.

After Mackenzie was diagnosed with reflux it was a bit of a relief off my shoulders – she was an unsettled baby that needed a lot of love and cuddles to be comfortable and to rest well. Suddenly I had absolutely no guilt when I fed, rocked, cuddled and patted her to sleep in my arms (like in the pic above). Continue reading